HCC To Honor Several Local Legends and Unstoppable Leaders At Black History Gala

ABOVE: Kandi Eastman, Rev. Byron C. Stevenson and First Lady Sonya Taylor Stevenson, Gene L. Locke, and Tony Chase

Each year the Black History Committee at Houston Community College (HCC) hosts a Black History Scholarship Gala, where they raise the necessary funds to support scholarships for deserving African American students and students of African heritage to attend HCC. Recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship to help cover the cost of tuition and books.

One of the most-important aspects of the HCC Black History Scholarship Gala is its annual tribute to remarkable individuals making a difference in the Greater Houston area. This recognition is made possible through the Joyce M. Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Unstoppable Leadership Awards and Gallery during the Black History Gala.

The Joyce M. Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Awards were formed in memory of the late Joyce Reynolds – a strong-willed, devoted educator at Houston Community College, who successfully encouraged students to make their dreams a reality. The award is annually given to local individuals whose lifetime of work demonstrates their commitment to serve and improve the lives of individuals from underserved communities. The Unstoppable Leadership Awards and Gallery were formed to highlight outstanding local individuals who have made significant differences on the front lines of our community. These awards – and an accompanying photo gallery – are given to visionary leaders who are the best in their fields and are virtually “unstoppable” because they continually overcome obstacles to soar to greater heights.

The Joyce M. Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award recipients for 2017 are Tony Chase, Chairman & CEO of ChaseSource, LP and Attorney and former HCC Trustee Gene L. Locke.

Tony Chase is Chairman & CEO of ChaseSource, LP, a staffing and real estate development and construction firm. The business is presently ranked by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the nation’s largest, minority owned companies. Chase, an entrepreneur who created and sold several major companies over the years, grew up attending Houston public schools.

Gene L. Locke is an attorney with strong ties to Houston Community College. Born in Conroe, Locke served as an HCC trustee from 1989 to 1995. Locke currently practices in the public-law area for the firm of Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, and most recently served as interim Harris County Precinct One Commissioner.

The Unstoppable Leadership Award recipients for 2017 are Rev. Byron C. Stevenson and First Lady Sonya Taylor Stevenson of The Fort Bend Church and award-winning radio announcer, Kandi Eastman of Majic 102.1 FM.

As Senior Pastor and founder of The Fort Bend Church in Sugar Land, TX, the Rev. Byron C. Stevenson and First Lady Sonya Taylor Stevenson lead a dynamic and growing church that Outreach Magazine named one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches in America. The Stevenson’s church began with 600 members in 2004 in a small cafeteria in Sugar Land Middle school. Today, The Fort Bend Church – also known to its congregation as “The Bend” – rests on more than 13 acres, and has grown to meet the spiritual needs of more than 5,500 members, largely due to the talents, teachings and five core pillars that Stevenson and his wife, Sonya, have established.

Kandi Eastman, the accomplished, award winning, midday radio announcer for KMJQ-FM (Majic 102.1 FM), joined the Majic family in 1994, after having renowned success as a station manager and music director at WRBB, Boston’s top-rated college station, and on-air positions at Boston’s WILD, Raleigh NC’s WQOK and Norfolk, VA’s WOWI.

The theme of the 2017 scholarship gala is Thinking Globally, Acting Locally. The gala will take a more worldly view of the plight of African Americans, and examine ways in which average citizens and college students can help improve the lives of underserved people around the world.

The Honorable Teta V. Banks, the internationally known chair of the United Nations Association who works to educate, inspire and mobilize Americans to support the efforts of the UN, will serve as the keynote speaker of the HCC Black History Scholarship Gala, which will take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, February 25, 2017, at Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005.

For more information about the HCC Black History Month Scholarship Gala, please visit their website at www.hccs.edu/blackhistory.